Review: Silhouette (Doctor Who #57)

Review: Silhouette (Doctor Who #57)Silhouette by Justin Richards
Series: DW New Series #57
Also in this series: Only Human, The Dalek Generation, The Story of Martha
Released by BBC Books on 9 September 2014
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 265
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781849907729
Source: Purchased

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Marlowe Hapworth is found dead in his locked study, killed by an unknown assailant. This is a case for the Great Detective, Madame Vastra.

Rick Bellamy, bare-knuckle boxer, has the life drawn out of him by a figure dressed as an undertaker. This angers Strax the Sontaran.

The Carnival of Curiosities, a collection of bizarre and fascinating sideshows and performers. This is where Jenny Flint looks for answers.

How are these things connected? And what does Orestes Milton, rich industrialist, have to do with it all? As the Doctor and Clara joint the hunt for thr truth they find themselves thrust into a world where nothing and no one are what they seem.


I have loved Doctor Who for several years now, and when I found out there were novels with complete new stories written about the Doctor and his companions, I knew I had to read them all (or well, at least a couple of them). My first Doctor Who book was The Stone Rose, and it made me fall in love with these stories. Recently, three new books were released, all featuring the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and his companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman). I didn’t know which one I really wanted, but I ended up going for Silhouette because I just loved the cover so much – and it features the Paternoster gang (aka Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint and Strax)!

Silhouette is about strange murders happening in Victorian London. The Doctor and Clara end up there after they follow a strange energy spike, and find Vastra, Jenny and Strax investigating these murders. Personally, I am not a huge fan of Victorian London, but I do love the Paternoster gang so I really enjoyed reading about them in this book.

I have to say, I found this book a bit predictable; I had known who had been behind the murders from the beginning already. That was probably because they weren’t really secretive about it, or because they did their best to look odd and guilty. Anyway, when I looked past the predictableness, I found the story very enjoyable. There were scenes with Strax that I found absolutely hilarious (he is really one of my favouite characters), including the quote at the top of this review. Strax isn’t very good at seeing the difference between males and females, so I guess he just called everyone ‘boy’.

“I had the occasion to rescue the boy from homicidal wood-pulp assassins”

I enjoyed reading about the Twelfth Doctor and Clara, because I really love the new season and the new Doctor, even though he can be a bit of an ass sometimes. I didn’t enjoy the villain that much though, he was just another typical alien (spoiler, perhaps?) who wants to destroy the earth in a very ‘brilliant’ way and he thinks NO ONE can stop him and yeah well we all know how that ended for all the other aliens who think no one could stop them. But yeah, after fifty years, nothing is really original anymore.

There were some action scenes, one including Clara being attacked by ‘homicidal wood-pulp assassins’ as Strax called them. I really would have loved to see this in an episode, but of course, it would have been changed a bit because the show hardly ever shows people bleeding (and Clara was definitely bleeding after being attacked by those things); so that wouldn’t really have worked. I guess the authors of these Doctor Who books do their best to make these stories sound as gruesome as they can, because they aren’t allowed to do that for the actual episodes (it’s still a family show after all).

In the end, I really enjoyed Silhouette, even though it was a bit predictable and the villain wasn’t that exciting. I really loved the Paternoster gang, the Doctor and Clara; I loved the other characters and the carnival. (And I am going to say it again, when will I find a Doctor Who book that is NOT so good? When?!)

My opinion in one gif: 

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